Night of Violence (1965)

Roberto Mauri started as an actor before directing became his main calling card. You may have seen some of his Italian Westerns, like Sartana in the Valley of Death and He Was Called Holy Ghost or his oddball jungle film King of Kong Island or Slaughter of the Vampires. Oh yeah — he also wrote the giallo Clap, You’re Dead and came back in 1980 to make The Porno Killers.

Prefiguring the giallo craze that would happen in around five years, thanks to Argento, this movie has a masked killer who preys only on prostitutes, hence its alt title Call Girls 66. 

When a prostitute is killed and several others are nearly snuffed out, that girl’s sister decides to investigate on her own, learning that not just one, but several famous actors seem to be behind the killers.

This movie has such a great payoff that I’m shocked that more giallo didn’t steal it. The killer is a man whose features were destroyed in the Hiroshima bomb blast and no woman will go near him, much less have sex with him. So he makes masks of famous actors and uses them to get close to the women, who he soon kills. Crazy, right?

You can watch this on YouTube.

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